Evangelical 'maniacs' slammed for throwing away their credibility to support Trump

Writing for the Daily Beast, conservative columnist Matt Lewis stated evangelical leaders who lined up to support Donald Trump despite his sordid history --and then stuck by him through four tumultuous years -- did damage to not only their own credibility but also to Christianity itself.

Citing Christian evangelist Luis Palau, known as the "Billy Graham of Latin America," Lewis noted that Palau was well aware of the reputation evangelicals had outside their own circle, once stating, "In New England, when you say 'Christian,' they think 'those maniacs on the right.'"

According to the Daily Beast columnist, "maniacs" could also be applied to Trump's Christian followers.

"What happens when so many of Christ's messengers have sacrificed their credibility and moral high ground by allying with a controversial political figure such as, say, Donald Trump? What happens when Jesus' brand ambassadors to a lot of Americans are Donald Trump and Jerry Falwell Jr., not Billy Graham and Pope Francis, much less Jesus himself?" he asked.

Saying evangelicals who "lined up behind Trump" couldn't have been more wrong, Lewis said some soul-searching is in order.

"The connection between Christianity and the Republican Party has existed for four decades. But it's fair to say that associating religious faith with Ronald Reagan's sunny optimism or George W. Bush's 'compassionate conservatism' does not result in the same level of negative repercussions as embracing the MAGA ethos," he lectured. "In my estimation, Trumpism has tarnished numerous causes, including (but not limited to) our credibility when it comes to 1) compassionately championing the unborn and the sanctity of life, 2) questioning the wisdom of spending $1.9 trillion, and even 3) celebrating the values, traditions, and works of art of our Western civilization."

Writing, "Trumpism, I would argue, has damaged the Christian brand, as well as the conservative brand," Lewis concluded, "Still, finding Donald Trump as the de facto leader of your movement—in the eyes of many Americans, at least—is sort of like finding a rat head in your Coke bottle. But the consequences are even more grim. In some cases, Trumpism lasts forever."

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